“Community grounds us and allows us to find commonality among our unique journeys of life,” says Precious Akindele, who has been a leader for community engagement opportunities at SFU.

How a new FHS alumnus transformed her university community, and beyond

May 25, 2023

By: Geron Malbas

Precious Akindele was always drawn to serving her community. For her, The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) was the perfect path in her pursuit for a career with a focused, and far-reaching impact in research and engagement.

“For me, I knew I wanted to help people. Yes, it was a very simple motive, and extremely broad as I had (and still have) many interests,” she explained. “But as I began to look into different degrees at post-secondary institutions, I was always looking for something ‘more’. I didn’t realize it back then, but I was drawn to interdisciplinary learning, and found a passion for a holistic understanding of health. 

Akindele completed her Bachelor of Science with Honours. Her thesis studied the concentration of specific inflammatory cytokines in the blood plasma of adolescent participants from South Africa. Under the guidance of FHS professors Mark Brockman and Angela Kaida, her research contributed to the work they spearheaded in South Africa, corroborating previous research connecting specific cytokine levels, depression and stress.

Aside from assisting her research community, Akindele was an ardent advocate for her student community. She served as an SFU Welcome Leader, as well as the Co-Director for the FHS Peer Mentorship program, supporting new students transitioning into university. She also volunteered with SFU’s University Christian Ministries through leading weekly small student groups and music events.

Another highlight of her community engagement experience is working with Find Your Path Canada (FYP), a student-led non-profit organization that assists black and first-generation youth in realizing their academic potential by developing enriching Afrocentric educational programs.

While she developed patience and adaptability amidst her SFU experience of studies and extracurriculars, what stood out the most to her was rest and community.

“I live in a culture where hustle and busyness are celebrated, yet I am growing in my understanding of rest. Learning is an experience and there is definitely a learned treasure of taking each day one at a time.”

Akindele plans to pursue a Master of Public Health program this fall in hopes of pursuing medical school and specializing in public health and preventative medicine. She advises students to be courageous and take advantage of opportunities to grow. Whether it be talking to professors, joining a club, or trying something new each semester, she promises that students will be surprised by what they discover.

“Pursuing post-secondary education can be a lonely endeavor, and I’ve learned that balancing life and school isn’t always easy,” she said. “But community is also another treasure; it grounds us and allows us to find commonality among our unique journeys of life.”